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Muslim Families Speak Out, Return Dowry in Silent Protest

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Jharkhand: A silent and unique social transformation is sweeping the Muslim community in Jharkhand’s Palamu region, with hundreds of families returning dowry they had taken during their sons’ weddings. Over the last one year, around 800 families came out in the open about accepting dowry and have subsequently returned the money. To date, over Rs 6 crore in cash has been returned to the brides’ families. This process began when Haji Mumtaz Ali, a native of Pokhari village in Latehar, launched a campaign against dowry in April last year. Following his footsteps, the community elders waged a war against dowry, a social evil plaguing the lives of thousands of families, especially the poor. The maulvis, too, resolved not to solemnise nikah where any exchange of dowry was involved.
“The success of our campaign against dowry is astounding. So far, over 800 grooms’ families in Latehar and Palamu districts have returned Rs 6 crore in cash to the brides’ families. More importantly, the marriages are now being solemnised without any exchange of money,” said Ali. “The war against dowry will eat up poor families like cancer till it is completely wiped out. There are still a few families who are yet to give up the evil practice. Earlier, the Muslim community did not pay dowry, but of late, dowry has become a part of marriages, in the process badly hampering the sanctity of this sacred bond,” he added.
(Extracted from www.hindustantimes.com)